BCC blames residents for frequent pipe bursts

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THE Bulawayo City Council has blamed residents for causing regular sewer pipe bursts by dumping solid waste in toilets and manholes.

BY ALEEXIS SIBANDA

Speaking during a tour of the city’s sewer system maintenance sites in Entumbane, Emakhandeni and Luveve last Friday, council’s operations technician Faith Nkonde said there was need for the residents to be educated about how the sewer system operates.

“People throw away solid waste such as spoons, clothes, dead dogs, sand and even babies in the manholes, toilets and drainages which disturbs the sewer pipes because they are not meant for such things. This result in those sewer blockages,” she said.

Nkonde said some residents vandalise sewage pipes to water their crops.

Speaking at the same event, Bulawayo mayor, Martin Moyo, echoed similar sentiments.

“We can see the magnitude of the challenge before us and we have to think about it and allocate resources adequately so that the problem can be overcome. We need a lot of conscientisation of the public so that they can avoid doing some of these things,” he said.

“As a local authority, we have been asking the government in terms of the Constitution, to give us arresting powers and also to be able to create a municipal code, where these matters can be dealt with because even if we knew who the culprit is, there is no judicial process that can be carried through to see them punished appropriately. Why should you as a resident vandalise something that is of benefit to the generality of us all?’’ he said.

“As a community, where you see someone doing that, report them so that appropriate action can be taken against them. It is something that we cannot tolerate because the victims of sewers getting into their houses are not culprits, the culprits are either upstream or downstream and the because the sewer is not flowing now those people have a problem and that is a difficult situation because someone would have caused a problem for you by dumping things in system, puncturing the sewer line so that they don’t work properly and it is something that should conscientise ourselves, as the community to say let us look out for the public proper because it is property for us all,” he said.